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AMAS6: multispectral imaging system for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs)

Grant number: 16/01011-4
Support type:Research Grants - Innovative Research in Small Business - PIPE
Duration: March 01, 2017 - June 30, 2018
Field of knowledge:Engineering - Aerospace Engineering
Principal Investigator:Michelle Matos Horta Tenca
Grantee:Michelle Matos Horta Tenca
Company:XMobots Aeroespacial e Defesa Ltda. - ME (XMobots)
City: São Carlos

Abstract

There is an increasing use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in agricultural applications. Some advantages of UAVs are the low cost of operation/maintenance, the flexibility to obtain missions in reduced time frames, and images with higher spatial resolution compared to other orbital and airborne remote sensing systems.In general, the agricultural imaging is performed by UAVs with conventional cameras, i.e., they capture images in the visible band (red, green and blue). Despite the wide applicability of using UAVs with conventional cameras, there is a growing business demand concerning the application of UAVs with different types of data acquisition, such as multispectral imaging sensors, hyperspectral, thermal and LIDAR. In order to increase the spatial resolution, and further reduce the payload cost, some international companies have invested in modifying conventional cameras by replacing the capture of red or blue bands with the capture of a spectrum band in the near infrared. These modified cameras improve the analysis of the data performed by the farmer, for instance, the identification of stress/health vegetation in an agricultural area. On the other hand, there is no consolidated study on what extent the results obtained by these cameras improve the farmer analyses in a specific agricultural problem. In this context, XMobots aims to develop an imaging system of 6-bands (Visible, Red Edge, NIR and thermal) composed of modified cameras, thermal camera and registration software of images, which is further incorporated into UAVs. Furthermore, XMobots has also the objective of incorporating the radiometric calibration of the system and, based on reliable data, to analyze its feasibility in agriculture monitoring. As a result, XMobots aims to obtain a national product that achieves the Brazilian agricultural demand. Moreover, a systematic analysis regarding the products available in the market, with a special focus on their competitive advantages, is important to ensure the internationalization of the product. (AU)